Matthew 10:11
And into whatever city or town you shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till you go there.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Enquire who in it is worthy.—The command was a plain practical rule. The habits of Eastern hospitality would throw many houses open to the preachers which would give no openings for their work, or even bring on them an evil report. From these they were to turn away and to seek out some one who, though poor, was yet of good repute, and willing to receive them as messengers of glad tidings.

There abide.—The purpose of the rule was (1) to guard against fickleness, as in itself an evil; and (2) against the tendency to go from one house to another according to the advantages which were offered to the guest.

Matthew 10:11-13. Into whatsoever city, &c., ye shall enter, inquire who is worthy — That you should abide with him, that is, who is of a good character, and disposed to receive the gospel. And there abide — In that house, till ye leave the town. It is of much consequence that a preacher of the gospel should not endanger his reputation, by taking up his lodging in a disreputable family, or by removing from one family to another, out of regard to some little matter of domestic convenience or entertainment. This is more fully expressed in the instructions to the seventy, Luke 10:7.

In the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: go not from house to house.” Doubtless the disciples on some occasions might change their quarters with decency; but our Lord absolutely forbade them to do it for the sake of better entertainment or accommodation, that they might not give mankind the least cause of imagining that they served their bellies, or were particularly solicitous about conveniences. When ye come into a house, salute it — In the usual Jewish form, “Peace, (that is, all blessings,) be to this house.” If the house be worthy — Of it, God shall give them the peace you wish them. If not, he shall give you what they refuse. The same will be the case when we pray for them that are not worthy.10:5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.Who in it is worthy - That is, who in it sustains such a character that he will be disposed to show you hospitality and to treat you kindly.

This shows that they were not needlessly to throw themselves in the way of insult.

And there abide - There remain; as Luke adds, "Go not from house to house." They were to content themselves with one house; not to wander about in the manner of vagrants and mendicants; not to appear to be people of idleness and fond of change; not to seem dissatisfied with the hospitality of the people; but to show that they had regular, important business; that they valued their time; that they were disposed to give themselves to labor, and were intent only on the business for which he had sent them. If ministers of the gospel are useful, it will be by not spending their time in idle chit-chat, and wandering around as if they had nothing to do, but in an honest and laborious improvement of their time in study, in prayer, in preaching, and in visiting their people.

11. And into whatsoever city or town—town or village.

ye shall enter inquire—carefully.

who in it is worthy—or "meet" to entertain such messengers; not in point of rank, of course, but of congenial disposition.

and there abide till ye go thence—not shifting about, as if discontented, but returning the welcome given with a courteous, contented, accommodating disposition.

See Poole on "Matthew 10:15". And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter,.... As Christ had instructed them in what manner they were to travel, so he directs them where to go, and who to ask for, and take up their abode with, in the several towns and villages to which they should come; that as soon as they had entered any town or village, they should, in the first place,

inquire, who in it is worthy; not of them, as the Arabic version reads, nor of the Gospel they preached, or of the grace of God, of which no man is worthy: and besides, who could answer to such a question when asked? Who in any town, or city, could tell who in it were worthy of Christ, of his Gospel, and ministers, to which they were all equally strangers before they came among them? Nor does it mean a man famous for piety and religion, or one that feared God, and was a worshipper of him, but an hospitable man; one that was very liberal; who was willing and ready to entertain strangers; for such a man they would want, having neither money nor food: and so the same word, in the Hebrew language, signifies "to be worthy", and "to give alms", because an eleemosynary man, or a man given to alms, was reckoned by the Jews a very worthy man: they thought giving of alms to be a matter of merit. Christ here speaks in the language of the masters of Israel; take an instance or two:

"saith R. Jona, blessed is the man that giveth to the poor; it is not written so, but "blessed is he that considereth the poor": he looks upon him, how he may , "give alms to him".''

And a little after,

""God hath set one against the other", that when evil comes to thy friend, thou mayest see how , "to do thine alms to him", and nourish him, so that thou mayest receive the gift of its reward.''

Again, so a man says to his neighbour, , "give alms unto me": and afterwards, in the same place, it is said, , "give alms unto that woman" (t). Now, it was such a worthy generous man, that was beneficent to the poor, and kind to strangers, that the apostles were to inquire out, wherever they came; and having found such a person, they were to continue with him:

and there abide till ye go out; of that city or town, to another city or town: for to be often changing houses would bring upon them an ill character, as if they were difficult to be pleased, not content with the provision made for them; and would look as if they sought to serve their own bellies, and gratify their appetites, more than to do good to the souls of men; and besides, moving from the house of a bountiful man, might bring some reproach upon his character, as if he had not used them well, and therefore left him. In short, Christ's meaning is, that he would not have his disciples be difficult, and dainty, or fickle, and inconstant, but be content with such things they should have provided for them; and not seek for other, and better quarters, nor fear being troublesome where they were.

(t) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 34. fol. 173. 3, 4. & 174. 4. Midrash Kohelet c. 11. 1. fol. 82. 2.

{5} And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.

(5) Happy are they that receive the preaching of the gospel: and unhappy are they that refuse it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 10:11. Ἄξιος] according to what follows: worthy to provide you lodging at his house, “ne praedicationis dignitas suscipientis infamia deturpetur,” Jerome. Jesus forbids the apostles to indulge in a fickle and frequent shifting of their quarters as a thing unbecoming their office, and as calculated to interfere with the steady progress of their labours. And He directs them to go to private houses, not to the synagogues nor to the market-places, seeing that they were unaccustomed to making public appearances, but also out of regard to the importance of domestic efforts.Matthew 10:11-15. ἐξετάσατε (ἐκ ἐτάζω, from ἐτεός, true; to inquire as to the truth of a matter). A host to be carefully sought out in each place: not to stay with the first who offers.—ἄξιος points to personal moral worth, the deciding consideration to be goodness, not wealth (worth so much). The host to be a man generally respected, that no prejudice be created against the mission (ne praedicationis dignitas suscipientis infamiâ deturpetur, Jerome).—μείνατε: having once secured a host, abide with him, shift not about seeking better quarters and fare, hurting the feelings of the host, and damaging your character, as self-seeking men.Matthew 10:11. Ἐξετάσατε, search out) sc. by asking others, and by spiritual examination. The godly are easily discovered by the godly, and in like manner the ungodly by the ungodly.—ἄξιος ἐστι, is worthy) sc. of being your host.—κἀκεῖ μείνατε, and there remain) sc. in the house of that man, until you leave the city.[458] A change of houses might have the appearance of fastidiousness.[459]

[458] A distinguishing: privilege was thereby granted to those who were their “first-fruits” in each city.—V. g.

[459] In the original, “potuisset præbere speciem hominum delicatorum,” where it is difficult to find an exact equivalent to “delicatorum:” though one is naturally reminded of Luke 7:25. q. v.—(I. B.)Verse 11. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:10; Luke 9:4 (the twelve); 10:5-8 (the seventy). Matthew alone mentions the command to inquire who is worthy. And into whatsoever city or town; village (Revised Version); cf. Matthew 9:35, note. Ye shall enter, inquire; search out (Revised Version). Much more is implied than merely asking some chance passer-by (cf. Matthew 2:8). Who in it is worthy; i.e. equivalent by moral rate (ἄξιος) - in this case to the privilege of your lodging with him; elsewhere to the offer of peace (ver. 13), to the favour of an invitation (Matthew 22:8), to walking with Christ clothed in white (Revelation 3:47, to punishment (Revelation 16:6). And there abide till ye go thence; go forth (Revised Version); i.e. finally (ver. 14). The object of this command, which was reckoned so important as to be recorded in all three parallel passages (vide supra), is to prevent; partly favouritism and rivalry, partly waste of time. For "when a stranger arrives in a village or an encampment, the neighbours, one after another, must invite him to eat with them. There is a strict etiquette about it, involving much ostentation and hypocrisy; and a failure in the due observance of this system of hospitality is violently resented, and often leads to alienations and feuds among neighbours. It also consumes much time, causes unusual distraction of mind, leads to levity, and every way counteracts the success of a spiritual mission" (Thomson, 'Land and the Book,' p. 347); cf. St. Luke's "Go not from house to house" (Luke 10:7). It is, on the other hand, quite unnecessary to see here, with Meyer and Weiss, a prohibition to go to the synagogues or indeed to anywhere else where they could gain a hearing during their stay. Our Lord is referring only to lodging and food (Luke 10:7). The workman is worthy, etc. Matthew 10:11, There abide, etc.

"The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," a tract discovered in 1873 in the library of the monastery of the Most Holy Sepulchre at Constantinople, by Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia, is assigned to the date of 120 a.d., and by some scholars is placed as early as 100 a.d. It is addressed to Gentile Christians, and is designed to give them practical instruction in the Christian life, according to the teachings of the twelve apostles and of the Lord himself. In the eleventh chapter we read as follows: "And every apostle who cometh to you, let him be received as the Lord; but he shall not remain except for one day; if, however, there be need, then the next day; but if he remain three days, he is a false prophet. But when the apostle departeth, let him take nothing except bread enough till he lodge again, but if he ask money, he is a false prophet." And again (ch. 8): "Likewise a true teacher, he also is worthy like the workman, of his support. Every first-fruit, then, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and sheep, thou shalt take and give to the prophets, for they are your high-priests....If thou makest a baking of bread, take the first of it and give according to the commandment. In like manner, when thou openest a jar of wine or oil, take the first of it and give to the prophets; and of money and clothing, and every possession, take the first, as may seem right to thee, and give according to the commandment."

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